Posted by: Kathy Temean | July 5, 2009

Revision Tips

Eleven Revision Tips

  1. Read your manuscript out loud.  If you stumble then you need to revise that sentence or paragraph.
  2. Does every word or action have a reason to be in the book?
  3. Does your plot flow logically?
  4. Is it clear what your main character wants to achieve?
  5. Does your reader know who the main character is on the first or second page?
  6. Have you used vivid words to describe your characters, settings and events?
  7. Does your first page grab the reader?  Remember you want the editor and ultimately the reader to want to turn that page.
  8. Does your dialog ring true?  Look for spots where your words poked into your character’s mouths.
  9. Can you randomly read a sentence of dialog and tell who has said the sentence?
  10. After you have revised the whole manuscript, then go through each page and cut out 20 words. (Tip from Richard Peck)
  11. Does your story build?  Does it keep your reader wanting more?  Is there are twist at the end?  Does it come full circle and tie the beginning to the end?

Responses

  1. Number 10 really hits home with me. 20 words EVERY page? I usually set a goal of 5-10k words cut from the finished ms., but maybe I’ll change that to 20/page. It may end up being close to the same amount I cut, but will make me focus more on tightening the writing, not just the story as a whole.

    • According to Richard Peck, that’s what you do after you make all your revisions. Good luck on the revisions. I have to get started on mine.

      Kathy

  2. Beth, I agree! It’s one thing to trim bits from the story, and another thing completely to really tighten up the writing. I’ll have to give #10 a try. 😉

    • Sheri,

      Thanks for stopping by. Make sure you read Anita’s article that I posted. It really goes in-depth.

      Kathy

  3. […] Eleven Revision Tips […]


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